On Second Thought…Dessert!

Habitat for Happiness

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You have arrived! Just in time for dessert!

Time to shed a little light about what’s really on the menu.

Someone near and dear to my heart once helped me to learn the way you can tell the difference between desert and dessert. I will spell it out for you. The key is to remember that the desert, with a lonesome “s”, is meant for only one, but dessert is a treat with two, so it’s even sweeter to enjoy when shared. One thing’s for certain that’s changed in this season is…. I am never alone… and God has made certain to remind me of it.

So… this one takes the cake.  “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9

Do you wanna hear WHO I got with me or do you wanna HEAR who I got with me? 

Since you’re asking; I think I hear knocking. If you’re open to listening. Jesus says “Ask and you shall receive; Seek and ye shall find,; Knock and it shall be opened unto you” Matthew 7:7

Ingredients for a sweet life, when everything is sour…

“When life hands you lemons….make lemonade”  I am sure you have heard the term used a time or two. This used to be hard for me to appreciate because everyone knows the best lemonade is made with more than just lemons. “I got the lemons alright… now where do I get the other necessary ingredients? Can you tell me God?” is what I used to retort. Asking such a question, is not taken lightly, especially if you’re asking the one that can answer.

God makes us able and he meets the need. He puts these missing ingredients in others with a planted seed. One of the greatest gifts of all is a resourceful friend that puts what’s in hand to good use. When times change, relationships often do too.  What was once sweet, in a moment of time, can turn sour. As you go through the ups and downs in life, everything and every season is for a purposed reason. Those experiences are added to your proverbial toolbox so you can use them for someone else in need.

Fresh lemonade and a nice slice of life…

Pulling up a seat, putting up my feet and enjoying the after party. Time to celebrate all that God has done and savoring this pizza-full moment. I’m not trying to be cheesy (lol) I just am. I have recognized that there are always those that are willing to be there when life is sweet, but when life hands you lemons… what you need is someone who has tasted the sour side of life because they have experience to help you succeed and not just sit and become bitter. I couldn’t have asked for more than what God had in store for me. In my not so favorable moments, God sent someone with a habit to walk on the lighter side of the path. She is a true character, with a sweet and sour sense of humor that helps brighten up my perspective on life both in and for the moment.

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MARLO….

Where I come from… no matter where I’m at, pure happiness is when someone joins me at the table! Thank you for joining me my sweet friends!

A Season to Dream Of…

A Christmas Special

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So… I have surrendered a little bit to you about some of my struggles through my time in the desert. However… even though the present may be a long, dry season, we have talked about the harvest that awaits, which we will gratefully enjoy… soon enough. But beyond the harvest… there is plenty more in store to dream about. But why do we have to wait?

The gifts of this season… received in a DASH

dream to laugh

The key to dashing to success in the relationship business is having someone on your dream team who’s laugh is way funnier than the joke, or so I’ve been recently told. Loving life is done right when we are able to laugh lightly at our failure and loudly in our freedom. We all have little events that can turn our world and our crown upside down and the greatest gift of all is having a friend who gets you through them without even trying, and makes the most joyful sound that brings a smile to your heart.

Remix your view on friends for life

Good friends are like the fabulous finds and furniture pieces that fill every room in your home… It just wouldn’t be home with out them. I don’t know about your daily habit but what I truly love about mine is… what makes life worth living daily stands out, usually in crimson red letters, because those I choose to keep close in life… speak life always.

A relationship with more in store

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Proverbs 15:23

Whale, enough said. Whether you’re interested in what I’ve got or not… I know I got the deal of a lifetime when God saved me. FYI – He is all about saving when it comes to me and you. The best thing about it… is those He saved just to put in my life and yours. God knows what and who is needed for every season ahead my friend.

This battle buddy of mine is top grade. She’s a teacher by trade, fearfully created and wonderfully made. She’s a real piece of “heart work.” Thanks for always keeping me heart strong with a laugh and a smile that is always in style.

 

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Carla

A Reason for the Season

Do you believe in the magic?

the magic of christmas...is to believe

Christmas in July

I know what you’re thinking… it’s August. However, in my reflection of this past month, I have come to realize that my time spent in the desert has given me more than just something to thirst for. Somehow it gave me just what I needed to refill my cup. I suppose you could say, during my search through the dry land, I magically stumbled upon the wishing well of my dreams and all I have to do is draw from it daily.

Each day lived in the present is a gift

There is a saying from Bill Keane, in The Family Circus newspaper cartoon of  August 31, 1994 that goes like this “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Not wanting to take time for granted; how can we be sure to make the most of each day we have been gifted with as we fight on for the love we so richly deserve? We need to do more than just aim to feel good… we must fuel good. What I mean to say is… in relationships, we need more that just the gift of good company, we need those that continue to feed us what’s good.

The gift of being fed by the fellowship

John 21:17

Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” “Lord, You know all things,” he replied. “You know I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Since I realized my need to surrender my old way of thinking about preparing to give thanks, I figure… if I’m going all in and looking forward to the miracle of an abundant harvest… the best way to prepare to receive it is to thank the laborers in the field. They are the sheep feeders and they are gifts that God has given to me… to fuel good always, in good times or baa-aa-aa-ad. (insert sheepish grin)

In the next few visits you will get to meet them. No hocus-pocus to keep you focused over here; just the miracle of God in the fruitful friendships that sprung up from a mustard seed planted in the desert.

So grab some jiffy popcorn and stay tuned…a Christmas special is coming soon!

Seasoned for a Reason… I am

The ME in the Mirror

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I AM in the Mirror…

Standing in the sand on the edge of the shore,

looking with hope for something more

Been diving deep but coming up dry,

to my reflection I can only ask why

God, can you help me see beyond what’s in me?

He responds… “Who are you questioning? You or me?

The heat of the day brings an unquenchable thirst;

you see what’s on the horizon and need to expect more than the worst.

You limit what is seen by what can be expected from you

But if you’re asking me… I have much more in store for you to do.

Where you are now, at the edge of the shore

is not as important as what you are now, a vessel on which I AM aboard.”

I AM in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

Never Second Best

Now that you have succumbed to living your life surrendered to the discovery of true love for your own self….we can discuss seeking help. Yes, that’s right…. I said help! Now since you are a first-timer to the concept of surrender, I know this is a little hard to swallow but that huge lump in your throat is really just your pride. Our need for others is nothing new. Since the beginning of our relationship, when we took our first look at what love is actually, I disclosed that taking the path on the journey to true love is not a trip recommended for one. Especially if we want this battle won.

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The Champ vs. Chump Dilemma

Like I said before… the biggest struggle in our fight for love is the battle within. No one feels good when looking forward to a losing battle and the fear of looking like a chump makes the struggle real. Having help does not make one less worthy of the title, and real champs recognize they didn’t get to the top by their own might alone. We all need someone in our corner. In our fight to find a love that is not second best, we just need to make sure we find the right one(s).

Finding your Battle Buddy

the fight in my two handsThe love you’re aiming for is in your hands…” the ME in the mirror

The first thing we need to address is… this is a different kind of fight. In the undying words of Pat Benatar “LOVE is a BATTLEFIELD” and I have been through the battle enough times to know that to keep on soldiering on, one must have a battle buddy. Heck, some of us need an entire platoon or squadron. Determining your need will be based on three things.

Three key things to consider when looking for your battle buddy or squad:

  • Know your position: what kind of stance do you usually take in a fight? Knowing the position you take will help you find those that will give you enough cover in the areas you need. All things considered, in your past experience with love you probably just wanted someone by your side that looked at and did things the same way as you. This time you’ll want someone who sees and is willing to do the things you don’t or won’t.
  • Know what you’re aiming at: To move forward in this good fight you must commit to not looking back. That’s what you employ your special forces for. Let me explain…there is no time for games. This is not your first-time and we are not playing laser tag. This fight is for real! Once you know what you’re aiming at, you need to be able to set your scope and focus on your target. Your battle buddy or buddies can handle the rear!
  • Know who is standing guard: Last, but definitely not least, is the most important player on the field… the gatekeeper. Whether your target in love is in sight or not, you have to know who is at the gate of your heart. If you are going to do this right you must be aware of the gate at all times. You have to be able to trust your gate keeper. Mine is the one that holds the very keys to the kingdom of love and life. Jesus! He never lets his guard down. I count on him as my first line of protection against the enemy that fights from within. If you want him as your gatekeeper…  just ask!

 

Getting ready to get engaged

Once you have determined who will be by your side we can talk about making sure your troop is prepared. Just a side note…. the gate keeper is key! If you have him in place he is certain to only let those worthy of the most honor enter this battle with you. He has already faithfully met my need. Which leads me to introducing someone who is with me on this journey for the long-haul. I have to give a shout out to one of my best battle buddies. She knows that to be the best friend in a fight she has to be prepared daily. She is in constant training and she comes with her own back up…

battle buddy

My friend Pamala… In this fight, she wants the victory as much as I do and so she hits the gym with a trainer that is second to none… Efrain at 24Hour Fitness in Kendall!

Forward march!

So now that you’ve met one of mine… It’s time for you to determine who will join you in this fight. I already have my battle buddies. They are in position and always ready to be engaged. So… find yours and invite them to join us. There is plenty of room at this round table!

 

A Second Helping

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Getting over the hurdle of surrendering…

Chances are you’re still needing help to see the light on the subject of surrendering. When it comes to finding the love you long for, you are your own worst enemy. You’re fighting so hard, you fail to realize you’re really just rolling with the punches. What you need is to take a second or two to recover and stop beating yourself up over it.

Love is not about the ring…

Have you considered maybe the reason you’re struggling so hard is because of the object of your affection? Maybe you’re in this race for the wrong reason. If the ring is all that you’re thinking of then you need to get that out of your head! You want the commitment of the love of another but what you really need is to commit to loving yourself first.

You want what you can’t have because you have to do what you don’t want. Real love… the best love…. comes from what’s inside, not what’s outside. In other words… what’s keeping you from the love you deserve is you. So get over yourself. There you go! I said it. The real problem…. is the conflict within. If you want to go forward in the race toward a life that you love, you have to get out of your own way and get your mind off the ring.

Transform what you know to be true about love…

The real truth about love is… True Love changes everything. That means if you’re not ready or willing for change to happen… you can pretty much count on love not happening either. So… are you ready to commit to changing your thoughts on surrendering to love? Let the transformation begin!

“Transformation happens on the other side of surrender” author unknown

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You may need a second to recover. You may need an extra hand to get up. We’re starting from the ground up!

This morning cup is about to be brewed up with good grounds. Now that we have good grounds to get this day started, we can stand up and fight the good fight for love!

Thanks for coming back for seconds on surrendering.

A Second Opinion

“Health is not valued until sickness comes.” Thomas Fuller

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For all of you Web MD “what’s wrong with me” google search hounds out there… here’s a pill for you to swallow…. you need to stop writing your own scripts. Perhaps you don’t feel the pain quite enough to entertain the thought of surrendering to an authority on the subject of love just yet. I am really trying to make your search for love less of a pain, not the opposite, but some of us can be real gluttons for punishment. It seems the gloves will have to go back on. Don’t worry, if you’re allergic to latex, I have vinyl.

My friend that suffered with the loss of her father came to a point where she realized death was standing on her doorstep. Not a physical death but the pain of what she lost was causing her to take herself out of the race, so to speak. “I literally felt like I lost a part of my life.” is how she describes it. Ironically, when we suddenly find ourselves without, the very pain we have or are experiencing from our loss in love or life is exactly what keeps us from getting it checked out. It’s a sick thought but we’d rather keep the pain we have to prevent the pain we fear is coming.

The diagnosis: You’re Love-sick

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick….” Proverbs 13:12

Where hope for love without pain seems lost we can become ill-mannered. You are love-sick when you are so in love, or missing the one you love so much that you forget how to act normally. Who is this person I speak of… the one you are so in love with? It’s yourself. Rather, the former version of yourself, prior to the loss you suffered. To put it lightly, in the words of Roy Orbison, “You’ve lost that loving feeling” for yourself and you want it back so bad you forget how to act appropriately in response to the pain.

When we refuse to surrender and let go of what hurts…there are three unhealthy ways we respond to our self-diagnosed condition:

  1. Preservation – Self-preservation or the “survival of the fittest” mentality causes us to keep everything to ourselves. No bueno! It means your just stacking pain pills in your mental medicine cabinet to give yourself another dose later. Crazy much?
  2. Pride – Being too proud to seek or take help or advice from another means you think you know better. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction”. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.
  3. Pleasure – Pleasing yourself to appease the pain means you’re just pushing the issue of your heart to the side for later. Pleasure dulls the pain just enough for you function temporarily… but the high wears off. When what pleases you ceases, that’s when you reach back into the mental medicine cabinet for that self-preservation script. That’s painfully crazy.

The pain of letting go

Going through the motions of the first year after the loss of her father, my friend struggled to find a healthy outcome to her hurt. She was used to being the one there for others but with the one she longed to be there gone, she battled daily over letting it go. There were a lot of days where she threw in the towel emotionally and the ups and downs brought on bouts of illness. So how do you bounce back and get your healthy love of life to return while dealing with the pain of loss? What she did was surrender it.

To most of us surrender means we lose the control, which is scary for pretty much every one I know.  We would all rather stick to what is familiar, even if it hurts us. Letting go means you might lose it all and it’s natural for us to fight to preserve what little we have. However, when you are at a loss, believing in yourself only goes so far. My friend was familiar with the only one that is the authority on all of life and love. It hurt to let go but…. because of Him…

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